A look back at events at the World of Pinot Noir 2013
Seminars, Series A
Not Pinot Blanc, Not Pinot Gris – it’s White Pinot Noir!?
Lido at Dolphin Bay,
9:00 – 10:30am, Friday
Beginning in Burgundy, followed by winemakers in Oregon and now making its way to Pinot Noir regions throughout the land, White Pinot is a trendy and wine-geeky category of wine. How do they do it? Why do they do it? Are there clones more suited than others? Is it a fad or a new category? Master Sommelier Fred Dame led our panelists in a discussion of white wines made from dark and sultry Pinot Noir grapes.Panelists included Gary Horner from Erath, Jim Prosser from J.K. Carriere and Zak Miller from Domaine Carneros.
Up Close and Personal with Kosta Browne
Lido at Dolphin Bay,
11:00 a.m. – 12:30pm, Friday
They saved their tip money when working as sommeliers, and with $2,600 in savings created their brand in 1997. They worked multiple jobs, overcame challenges right and left, but were determined to persevere. The accolades from critics, writers, sommeliers and wine publications started pouring in with the 2003 vintage, and Dan Kosta and Michael Browne were lauded as an “overnight success”! The wines are continually found on Top 100 listings and garner the highest scores from critics. We are very pleased that Dan and Michael have participated in the World of Pinot Noir each year (with long, long lines at their table), as they are not only rock-star winemakers, but truly delightful and congenial guys. Fred Dame moderated this lively tasting, as Michael presented an incredible lineup of their Pinot Noirs from the Russian River Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sonoma Coast. In addition to Michael, panelists included Dennis Koplen and Gary Pisoni. Yes, it was quite lively!
Seminars, Series B
Pinot Noir on the Rocks – the question of “Minerality”
The Cliffs Ballroom,
9:00 – 10:30am, Friday
As our moderator and noted author, Karen McNeil will attest, tasting notes often include “minerality” as a characteristic of the wine, either aromatically, texturally or as a flavor component. Many Geologists say there is no such thing. Many Winemakers disagree, equating minerality to a sense of depth and finish not defined by other characteristics. Our panelists explored this rocky question, presenting wines to support their point of view and delving into the science or art of the debate. Is “minerality” the new “umami”” If not, from where does that gravelly earthy note hail? Presenting their wines and their opinion were Fintan du Fresne from Chamisal, Jason Jardine from Flowers, Mike Waller from Calera, and James Cahill from Soter Vineyards.
Alcohol and Balance Redux, and how Vintage comes into play
The Cliffs Ballroom,
11:00 a.m. – 12:30pm, Friday
The 2010 World of Pinot seminar on this question set off quite a firestorm in the wine world. Winemakers focused on style – why they made the wines they did, whether the wine could have elevated alcohol and still be balanced, whether lower alcohol wines were delicate or simply simple. We’re going to re-examine this issue two years later, but with another factor in the mix. Meet the 2010 and 2011 vintages; cool weather, lower sugars, a never-ending growing season. We tasted the wines, and heard if our winemakers had a stylistic shift and/or how they dealt with the hand dealt by Mother Nature. Celebrated author Karen McNeil led the discussion. Panelists included Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat, Adam Lee from Siduri, Greg Brewer from Melville, Joe Davis from Arcadian and Wells Guthrie from Copain.
Lunch with a View
12:30 p.m. – 2:00pm, Friday
Seminar participants were then treated to a "lunch with a view" in the tent overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the grounds of the Dolphin Bay Resort. Lido chefs presented a 3 course lunch, which included: First course: Parmesan Herb Souffle with citrus jicama slaw. Second course: Quail with Thyme and Chicken Mousseline with sauteed escarole and a cherry reduction. Dessert was a Ricotta Cheesecake with Pinot essence. Delicious, and served with an array of superb wines presented by the team of Sommeliers.
Pinot Noir by the Sea Focus Tasting
The Cliffs Resort,
3.00 - 6.00pm, Friday
“Small lot, boutique, barrel selection.” All wines poured by wineries at this focus tasting were those of less than 500 case releases. This was a unique opportunity to taste these hidden Pinot Noir jewels, often available only by list or club membership, from more than 60 wineries. The tasting was complemented by fresh, local, creative cuisine from Pacific Harvest Catering, Vivant Cheese andthe Central Coast’s finest specialty food purveyors. Guests found some great finds in the Large Format silent auction, which this year benefits the Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship Fund.
The Sparkling Lounge
The Penthouse Suite at Dolphin Bay
5.30 - 8.00pm, Friday
Guests arrived before sunset or casually flowed over to the suite to enjoy the ocean view as sparkling producers poured their effervescent beauties exclusively for 40 guests. A decadent seafood display with fresh shucked oysters, abalone, shrimp and passed hors d’oeuvres featuring blinis with caviar paired amazingly with the sparkling wines! Sparkling producers pouring their wines included Domaine Carneros, Laetitia, Frank Family and Flying Goat Cellars.
Williams-Selyem Winemaker Dinner
Lido at Dolphin Bay
The Williams-Selyem team is known at WOPN as pulling out all the stops when presenting their wines, and this dinner was no exception. Winemaker Jeff Mangahas and the Williams Selyem team first poured their 2008 Blanc de Noirsparkling wine to start the evening, complemented by Lemon-Chive shrimp on Wonton crisp with crispy chevril. Jeff then guided guests through a selection of limited release and Library wines exquisitely paired with a 4-course plated meal by the Lido’s Executive Chefs.
First course: Roulade of Sole stuffed with Crab rolled in Prosciutto, preserved lemon vinaigrette, 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay
Second course: Duck Broth, Crostini of Cherry and Mushroom Duxelle, 2005 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Third course: Goat Cheese Risotto with skewer of Achiote Filet of Beef, 2006 Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir
Fourth course: Wild Boar and Olalla Berry Pot Pie with salad of grilled Radicchio, Pine Nuts, 2010 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir
Viva Italia - Pismo Style
Giuseppe’s Cucina Italian
This restaurant was chosen specifically by the Board of Directors because it is most definitely a local favorite for area winemakers. For almost 20 years, Giuseppe's has been known throughout the Central Coast -- and beyond -- for great wine and Italian food. Bring to that reputation16 wineries pouring their wines and a 5-course meal paired with a different set of wines for each course from Chef/Owner Giuseppe DiFronzo for truly a “Tuttu Benne” experience.
Antipasto: Panzarotti, Pancetta wrapped Prawns
Insalata: Heirloom tomatoes, handmade burrata, braised baby artichokes
Pasta: Orrechiette, broccoli rabe, caramelized onions, ricotta salata
Pesce: Blue polenta encrusted local King Salmon,
grilled over fruitwood, lemon verbena beurre blanc
Carne: “Porchetta” slow cooked Vande Rose Farms Berkshire Pork Roast,
aged Marsala and mushroom reduction
Tavola di Dolce: Chocolate Bouchon and Chef’s choice of cheese and fruit
Terroir: the Soul of La Côte d’Or & Lunch
The Cliffs Ballrom
Don Kinnan, CSS, CWE, and the lead instructor for the French Wine Society’s new Master Burgundy Certificate program presented an incredible in-depth seminar on the wines, soils, climate and history of the Côte d’Or. Kinnan started with Côte de Nuits and the villages of Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanee including a taste of wine from each village. For Côte de Beaune, Don focused on Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, and Puligny-Montrachet, with wines from each appellation.
You can revisit Don's presentation here - and also check out a great offer from the French Wine Society for their Bourgogne Master-Level Study & Certification Program.
A gourmet lunch followed at the Lido Restaurant at Dolphin Bay, complemented by wines from the seminar and other selections. The luncheon included a first course of Frisee, crispy celery root, almonds and Dijon vinaigrette, a Coastal Cassolet of Chicken Herb Sausage, Duck and Market vegetables for the second course and local cheeses with accouttrements to finish.
Sta. Rita Hills Focus Luncheon
10.45am - 1.45pm, Saturday
Chef Jensen Lorenzen prepared a 4-course lunch inspired by Pinot Noir from four guest Sta. Rita Hills wineries - Brewer - Clifton, Dierberg, Foley and Gainey. Created with produce from the gardens on the Cass House grounds and local artisan purveyors from the Central Coast. Rave reviews on the luncheon, which included
Cayucos juniper cured Bresaola with Roasted beets, garden arugula, preserved lemon and balsamic reduction, served with Foley T-Anchor Ranch, 2010
North coast steelhead "en croute", trumpet mushrooms, asparagus, beurre rouge, served with Dierberg, Drum Canyon Vineyard, 2010
Chicken with alliums, garlic crusted breast, herb doughnut, scallions, soubise and truffle jus, served with Brewer-Clifton, 3D VIneyard, 2010
Goat cheese, chevre and semi-firm aged, gingerbread, clover honey and fennel, served with Gainey, Limited Selection, 2010
Pinot Noir by the Sea Grand Tasting
The Cliffs Resort
3.00 - 6.00pm, Saturday
With tents on both the cliffside lawns at Dolphin Bay and The Cliffs Resort, guests had more room to mingle with and meet the winemakers and principals from more than 120 Pinot Noir wineries. The tasting included fresh, local and seasonal wine country appetizers from Pacific Harvest Catering, the Lido Restaurant, specialty foods from local purveyors and cheeses from Vivant. The Silent Auction included some rare finds, and this year benefits the Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship Fund.
Breakout Session 1:
Talley Two Ways – Vineyard-Designated Verticals
5 - 6.15pm, Saturday
Talley Vineyards presented a vertical tasting of Pinot Noir from Rincon Vineyard, and Rosemary’s Vineyard from 2007 through 2010. Guests tasted 8 different wines presented by Brian Talley, and winemaker Eric Johnson, along with a sampling of cheeses.
Breakout Session 2:
Hard to resist Pinot Noir – just ask these Rhône producers!
5 - 6.15pm, Saturday
“We’ll just make a barrel or two”, they say. We tasted and heard why this esteemed panel of Rhône Rangers are crafting ‘just a little’ Pinot Noir – que syrah syrah? Panelists included Jason Haas (Tablas Creek), Chuck Carlson (Curtis and Carlson Wines), Bob Lindquist (Qupé) and Doug Margerum (Margerum Wine Company). A cheese sampling was included.
Gala at Chamisal Vineyards
As the grand finale to WOPN 2013, Chamisal Vineyards hosted a night of great wine, superb food and lasting companionship. In the spirit of the wine world, guests were encouraged to bring a bottle of a favorite Pinot Noir to share with everyone. In addition, more than 30 winemakers poured from Large Format Bottles at the dinner, and our sommeliers of course provided you a pour of any bottle you requested…as long as it was not already empty! The cuisine was prepared by the finest Chefs on the Central Coast. Click here to view the incredible menu!